Trying to keep up in August sometimes seems like a Herculean task but between reading all the amazing posts on #ThePowerofRomance at Read-A-Romance Month, keeping up with my big pile of review books (with some GREAT titles, yay!) and trying to stay on top of all the great authors with books coming out that I want to read, I have to say, I really do feel like a very lucky reader.

In the midst of all of that I’ve also managed to listen to a few awesome audiobooks too, and thought I’d give them a little shout out.

An author I’ve been meaning to get to since she won a RITA last year is Angela Quarles, and I finally had the chance to listen to two of her titles, Much Love Kilts and Must Love Breeches - titles 3 and 1 in the Must Love Time Travel series. Yes, I read them out of order, backwards, and I skipped the second one, though it’s definitely on my “to be read soon” list. These were so much fun and now we know why no one ever believed romance time travelers in the past! They didn’t have smart phones!

Honestly, you may have heard of these before, because they’ve gotten tons of buzz in the romance world over the last couple of years—but let me add my voice to the chorus. Smart, smooth, believable and just a great romantic ride, with some unique storytelling arcs that take a new direction in the genre.

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Highly recommend to any romance reader, but if time travel is your jam, then these are must reads.

Susan Wiggs’ recent release, Map of the Heart, was a joyful, soul-satisfying read, with a dual time line story: the contemporary photo specialist who lives her life in fear thanks to her husband’s untimely death, and is smothering her bullied daughter; and the WWII-set journey of her grandmother who navigated French Resistance work while living under the same roof as her despised Nazi collaborator husband. 

My favorite book by Wiggs remains The Apple Orchard, which deals with the Danish resistance during WWII, but this title was a worthy contender, and I loved it too. Wiggs touches on a lot of issues in Map of the Heart, yet her emotionally intelligent swim through a number of deep yet compatible waves of fear and other uncertainty to get back to safe harbor never feels forced or inauthentic. A lovely, thought-provoking read.

Finally, I’ve been intrigued by Rachel Herron’s Songbirds of Darling Bay series since I heard about them, and so I jumped into Book #1, The Darling Songbirds, with high expectations. I wasn’t disappointed!

I love the premise—three sisters who were on the verge of country singing stardom, but unraveled the night their father died in front of them. Now estranged, the sisters have traveled their own paths for years.

When Adele Darling comes back to the former gold rush town named after her great-grandfather, and the saloon left to her and her sisters by her uncle, she’s not sure what to expect, certainly not the dilapidated building and shell of a business she’s found.

At first prepared to sell and turn her back on the town and the bar, she has second thoughts when it occurs to her that her uncle’s legacy may be the one thing that could bring her sisters back to her.

Sexy bartender Nate Houston has wanted to buy the place for ages, so her about face on the sale makes him feel as played as his acoustic guitar. If only she weren’t so pretty and vulnerable, he might be able to maintain his outrage.

This sweet, soulful story was a delight, and is especially recommended for readers who prefer love romances with a “the-less-description-the-better” attitude toward sex in their books.

So three books for your reading pleasure!